Possible ideas to make research not suck

Here’s a list of other researches that could be considered for the tech tree to give a bit more flexibility in choosing tech or raw production outputs.

Also to make these work I think you would need to introduce the concept of ‘either-or’ research trees, where selecting a particular research path blocks other paths you could have taken.

Obviously many of these will not be viable depending on what is supported by the UI / Engine.

1. Additional queues

The idea here being you could choose to research an additional queue for your planets, so you could start constructing 2 buildings at once, or 2 types of unit at once, for example.

Obviously extremely powerful so I think it would have to be restricted to a single planet or find some other negatives to balance it (e.g. restrict to max PL8).

2. Ship upgrades

Allow upgrades to ships to allow incremental upgrades like:

  • Firepower
  • HP
  • Reduced travel time
  • Chance to evade / survive combat
  • Cost reductions for particular types of units (e.g. 2% stacking discounts on Fighters / Bombers etc.)
  • Storage increases for Freighters / Traders / Invasion ships

I believe you already planned something similar in the ‘Military’ research branch, which is currently empty.

3. Re-add scientists, or some similar concept

Certainly not a requirement, but it did allow a ruler to choose to skew their empire towards science.

It may be better to re-introduce Research Labs (but not Scientists), which could be a per-planet unique structure and produce +1 Research point per turn each. You could start with a Research Lab on your home planet, but only be able to build additional ones after unlocking a tech.

A ruler could then choose to either spend their points early on extra PL, or to unlock additional tech on the few planets they have.

4. Add global empire modifiers

I’m thinking this would be a similar concept to Ascension perks in Stellaris. For example, you could provide a choice tree like the following:

  • Farm forever - Flat resource output modifier for entire empire (probably too powerful, might be more interesting to give the bonus to a random resource)
  • Rabbits - Worker growth modifier across all planets
  • Art of war - Flat empire-wide firepower increase for all ships
  • Workaholics - All your Workers work harder, so you need 10% less to build anything
  • Way of the warrior - Your Metropoli passively convert Workers to Soldiers at a constant rate. e.g. +50 per turn, without any resources or queues required

You could choose to make any of the above exclusive, so only one can be chosen.

Obviously I’m sure you can come up with better ideas than I have above, but I like the concept.

5. Allow more structures / units to be unlocked through research

Currently nearly everything is ‘given’, merely requiring the building prerequisites to start construction. Some of the key structures could require research to unlock. Metropolis / Space dock / Heavy Weapons Factory are the obvious choices.

I’m not averse to reinstating the entire tech tree from previous code, where almost EVERYTHING had to be researched.

6. Add more PL researches, and reduce research time.

At the moment I probably check research page about once every 2 days, there’s just no point looking at it. With the upcoming nav changes I think it would be good to reintroduce the smaller, incremental PL researches at maybe 24 turns each, perhaps increasing to 48 turns and finally 96 turns as you get into higher planet counts.

Obviously the game has currently been designed currently so no player can ever control more than 30 planets, which just seems like easy mode compared to previous code. If PL is changed in this way, the universe would need to be adjusted, most likely with an increased planet count.

7. Structure upgrades / modifiers

It would be good to be able to research a tech item that allows a structure to be directly upgraded without the need for demolishing.

For example, add a Core metal upgrade item that allows the direct replacement of a Metal Mine with a Core Metal Mine in 8 turns, saving 1 turn over having to demo first.

Other structure upgrades could be things like;

  • Advanced Solar Cells - your Solar Arrays produce +10 energy
  • Compact Living - Increased storage for Habitats / Living Quarters / Army Barracks
  • Advanced Scanning - Upgraded comms sat to reduce scan cost
  • Production Efficiency - Better Shipyard - Reduce ship build time
  • Rapid Basic Training - Your soldiers train 1 turn faster

8. Add loot boxes

Haha are you serious? I’m surprised you even read this far.

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I read from the bottom up, saw loot boxes then immediately started committing to only adding them, and disregarded the rest of the post.

In all seriousness, without reading too much into them at the moment, immediate feedback for each:

  1. Not really possible with the engine at the moment, it’s something I’ve toyed about with, but can’t make work :frowning:

  2. When the combat code is rewritten, allowing ‘tweaks’ to some numbers dynamically should be possible, I don’t think travel time / cost reductions are possible in the engine, same with storage increases.

  3. So essentially have increasing research per turn as an indirect research item? It’s an interesting concept, although we have to be careful that we’re not giving additional advantages to those who already have more planets, so a slightly harder capping of that may be in order, I’ll give it some thought.

  4. Some of these should be possible, although not all, the concept is interesting though…

  5. Moving some more progression across to research isn’t a bad idea, it does provide an artifical limitation on what can be done, and how quickly though (inherently slowing the game down, you thought PL was bad? :p)… I’d argue a more diverse tree would be nice if going down that route though, different variants of the same structure, some which are better for certain types of ship, so at least you end up with options, and depth, rather than a grind to get through things.

  6. Yea, might need to tweak PL research, I’m looking at options currently.

  7. Having research that permits direct upgrade path for structures is a pretty good idea (it’s, at least in theory, possible to do right now as well). It can save a bit of time building a planet, and removes the need to have to remove all the old ones as well. The other ones, I like, but none are possible with the engine right now…

  8. You’ve seen my answer to that :stuck_out_tongue:

TL;DR: I need a new engine… :stuck_out_tongue:

Idea 3: building extra research labs

Instead of the extra labs increasing the research speed, give the research point increase a modifier that is the fraction of planets you own with a lab. So you are investing in not slowing research down, rather than speeding it up. This adds an obstacle rather than a bonus for the runaway players, but still buffs out the research mechanic.